waning december: nine for nine

I have sort of a love/hate relationship with New Year's resolutions:  I feel the need to make them, but I do so grudgingly, with the nagging doubt that I'm just setting myself up for failure.

Incongruously, however, I do love a good to-do list.  I love how it feels to scratch through each completed task.  I make them daily, and I love how productive I feel at the end of the day, even if I haven't finished every item.

And so, this year, I thought I'd come up with 9 Things I'd Like to Do in '09 -- not resolutions, you understand, but a little to-do list of things that I'd like to accomplish by the end of December 2009.  You know, things to aim for.  No pressure.  Just things I'd like to set my sights on.

So, here they are:

1.  I'd like to complete the Blurb book I started -- a coffee table book of images and words.  Just to say I did. Blown off, in favour of #8, below.

2.  I'd like to attend an gallery opening of my photography. Completed, February 12, 2009!

3.  I'd like to save enough money for a downpayment on some land.  Preferably land within view of the ocean.

4.  I'd like to lose some weight.  I'm not happy putting this on this list, but seriously, things have gotten out of hand.  Let's go with 5 pounds for now, to be renegotiated upon completion.  Several times upon completion. -- Currently in the process of working with the second 5 pounds.  Sadly, on 9.9.9, I've regained.  Renewing commitment.

5.  I'd like to get back into working out regularly.  I hate working out, but I do love how I feel when I'm done, and the truth is, I think some of my best thoughts while I'm doing it.  Perhaps if I think of this as a form of meditation -- a way to help be more creative -- instead of a chore, perhaps I'll be better about being consistent.

6.  I'd like to write more personal letters.  I miss personal letters.  Remember when people used to send personal letters?  And the thing is, I love calligraphy and beautiful penmanship -- I'm actually a bit obsessed by it.  So, I'm going to write more.  I'll start small:  I'll aim for 5 letters this year.  That seems manageable, right?  I'll even buy pretty stationery to make it happenThanks to my dear friend, Lu, I've been penpalling regularly.  Certainly I've sent more than 5 letters out as of this update, 9.9.9!

7.  I'd like to focus more on more photography projects.  It's what I love to do, and the reason that I left my corporate job.  I'd like to develop them more. I've done two lovely ones, and updated my projects page.  I'm crossing this out, but this is ongoing.

8.  I'd like to pick a new project to work on -- one of the creative projects I've been afraid to start. I have a list of them.  I'll pick one, and let you know which one I pick.  Just as soon as I get the courage.  Ahem.  As of May 2009, I am officially writing a book.  Not only that, I have a book deal, and am scheduled to be published Fall 2010. Stay tuned!!

9.  And finally, I'd like to start reading more.  I'm a member of GoodReads, I should make good use of it, don't you think?  I've been reading like a champ this year.  Thank goodness!

There.  Nine for nine.  Just a nice little to-do list of stuff that might be fun to do, you know?  Stuff that would give me something to scratch through for next year's list.

In the meantime, for the rest of this year, let's celebrate all we've accomplished in 2008 -- because even if we didn't finish our intended lists, I bet we did lots of other great things.  For example, you probably made a new friend, or reconnected with an old one.  You probably made someone feel really good at some point.  You probably laughed until your sides ached.  You probably even made something you're really proud of:  a photograph, a good meal, a lovely gift ...

In my case, one thing I did that I'm really proud of was quit my job.  It was scary, and economically-speaking, I have rotten timing, but 2 months later, I know it was absolutely the right thing to do.  I'm so much happier.

What's one thing you did in 2008 that you're proud of?


SongThink, by Aretha Franklin.  Let your mind go, let yourself be free, baby.

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A little end-of-year housekeeping:

-  I'm working on my monthly newsletter, which will go out on January 1st.  If you'd like to be included on the e-mailing list, please click the link to the left and subscribe. 

-  I'm about to order one more batch of the Chookooloonks 2009 calendar from the printer -- if you'd like one, please click here to order, and get 'em while they're hot!

-  And finally, thanks to all of you who've supported me throughout 2008.  It was a crazy year -- and your words and e-mails made it all the more fun.  Thank you!